Southquill Health Area Foodbank Continues to Impact Communities

Contributed by Heather Howdle, Erickson Lutheran Church.  The Southquill Health Area Foodbank was a recipient of an ACTS of the MNO Grant

The garden is in the design of the Indigenous medicine wheel and the 4 directions from local Elders. The cover crops are being pulled , including weeds to be turned  back into the soil to regenerate it.

News flash update about how Southquill Health Area Foodbank  is impacting the communities of  Erickson, Onanole, Sandy Lake and Rolling River First Nation (Treaty 4 1874).
These past few months have seen a lot of activity because of the Acts of the MNO Synod Grant and other donations which have helped bring about a lot of awareness to the need for food security and sovereignty highlighted during this pandemic. Local producers of vegetables and meat have stepped forward doing free presentations on how to have healthy soil to grow healthy food. Video presentations on Food preserving–canning, drying, freezing and storing–have been uploaded on our facebook page. Providing education about food security is empowerment and providing food on a weekly basis has given many families the breathing room they need. There is especially more vulnerable people that fall through the ‘cracks’  of the system.

Although we are now housed in the same building as the SCORE Store (thrift shop) we are still able to use the generosity of our church (Erickson Lutheran Church) for our Board meetings. We have been able to build a Community Garden gathering place where multiple cultures have been meeting (observing covid protocols of course) to share stories, get to know one another, and to learn and share knowledge about healthy food and shortening our food supply chain. Even though the food bank is in a settler community it was important to recognize and incorporate First Peoples’ input on the design and function of the Community Garden associated with the Food bank. We will continue to collaborate with those in need and those that can support those in need. We will need larger and more permanent space for the food bank to be able to meet the needs of the clients. We are grateful for the many blessings we have received in donations of dollars, food, clothing and volunteers!